29. 06. 12. - 16:49
Bilingual school closure row
The local council decision in Ebenthal to close down two bilingual schools at Radsberg and Mieger from the school year 2015-16 and move the pupils to the school at Gurnitz is causing heated debate.
The council voted on the matter on Wednesday but were accompanied by numerous demonstrators who handed in an 800 word petition demanding that the council decided to keep the two schools. More than 100 people turned up in the council's voting chamber with prams and flyers.
They were backed by the local Green party which branded the decision to close the German and Slovenian speaking schools as unacceptable.
Campaigner Zalka Kuchling said: "It now seems clear that the Carinthian government wants to see only centrally located schools. That will see one school pitted against the other as they battle for survival. And what role do good teaching standards have in such an environment?"
The protest however failed to achieve the desired result with 21 councillors voting for the closure and only six against.
Johannes Tolmaier was the only one of the social Democrats who voted against the decision.
Local mayor Franz Felsbgerger, also from the SPÖ, also backed the campaign to keep the schools alive and will continue to fight against the closure he said.